Early 18th century
Mid Edo Period (1615 - 1867)
56 x 160.5 cm
In the pleasure districts the stringent codes were meant to be forgotten. In this painting some clients are watching from outside the teahouse, while some are entering, one of them with the face hidden under a large basket hat. This ukiyo-e screen is representative of type of genre painting that had its origins in RakuchÅ« rakugai zu, but which abandons a comprehensive view of the city for one that focuses on just one famous place, in this case a pleasure district. The fictiveness of the setting is immediately evident from the impossible discontinuities of spatial recession, with a visual paradox in which the figures in the foreground appears of the same size of those inside the tea houses: as the eye prioritizes human activities over natural settings, the proportions of the figures here reflect that visual hierarchy. The style and the subject matter recall two ukiyo-e artists who specialized in paintings from the pleasure district: Miyagawa Cho sun (1683-1753), whose style shows figures drawn with soft and curve lines, somehow feminine, and Hishikawa Moronobu (1618 - 1694), famous for his depictions of Yoshiwara.
Japanese screen for sale. Price on application. Please include item stock number: byo-1056